Newsletter: May 2011

Happy Canada Day to all! If you are one of the 450,000 expected to welcome the future King and Queen tomorrow on Parliament Hill, I hope you are fortunate to actually see them. If not, enjoy the rest of the many events that are being put on by the National Capital Commission. There is no better place to be than in Ottawa on Canada Day (if you don't mind crowds and traffic jams). No matter where you are enjoy the long weekend. Now onto another late report.

There were a total of 33 sales reported in the month of March with a total value of $115,641,517. Retail building sales accounted for 6.8% of the total, industrial buildings 2.3%, office buildings 15.5%, apartment buildings 20.9%, special buildings 0.9% and vacant land 53.6%.

Sales data has been provided by RealTrack, Inc. For more information visit http://www.realtrack.com or call 1-877-962-9033

SALES

There were four transactions in the RETAIL market with a total value of $7,885,000. The most notable transaction was the purchase of 2930 Carling Avenue. The property was acquired by RioCan Holdings Inc. from 2930 Carling Inc. (Mobius Corp) for $4,100,000 or $393/sf. It is improved with a recently constructed, purpose built Rexall Pharma Plus drugstore. Quintin Colaiacovo, Matthew Smith, and Hugh O'Connell of CB Richard Ellis were the listing agents involved in this transaction.

Another notable transaction was the purchase of 250 – 260 Bank Street which sold from one group of Private Individuals to another for $2,400,000 or $300/sf. It is improved with an older two-storey retail/office building that was fully leased at the time of sale.

There were three INDUSTRIAL building sales during the month of March with a total value of $2,632,500. 303 Legget Drive was the most noteworthy transaction. The property transferred from Com Dev Ltd. to 303 Legget Property Management Corporation for $1,540,000 or $143/sf. It is improved with a single-storey office/warehouse building. Oliver Kershaw, Jim Shotten and Nico Zentil of CB Richard Ellis as well as Alan Doak and Nick Maiorino of Colliers International were the agents involved with this transaction.

There were six OFFICE building sales with a total value of $17,965,000. The most notable transaction was the sale of 381 Kent Street. The property sold to ProMed 381 Kent Street Ltd. from Toth Equity Ltd. for $10,500,000 or $250/sf. It is improved with a five-storey medical office building. Steve Lerner of Primecorp Commercial Realty was the agent involved with this transaction.

Another transaction worth mentioning is the sale of 2025 Lanthier Drive. The property was purchased by 743183 Ontario Inc. from 2046332 Ontario Inc. for $3,450,000 or $144/sf. It is improved with a recently constructed two-storey office building that was fully leased at the time of sale. Graeme Webster and Marc Morin of District Realty were the agents involved with this transaction.

There were five transactions in the APARTMENT market during the month March with a total value of $24,165,000. 550 Langs Road made up the majority of that total selling to Conres III GP Number One Inc. from Devonshire Properties Inc. for $19,550,000 or $114,327/unit. It is improved with an 11-storey rental apartment building that was constructed in the mid 1970s. David Montressor of CB Richard Ellis was the listing agent with regards to this transaction.

There was one transaction in the SPECIAL building market during the month of March. 152 Metcalfe Street was purchased by St. Peter and St. Paul's Anglican Church Ottawa from The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa for $1,000,000. It is improved with a church.

There were 14 vacant LAND transactions during the month of March for a total consideration of $61,994,017. Of the 14 transactions, there were two commercial land sales, four residential land sales, four future growth sales, two rural land sales and two institutional land sales. The most notable transaction was Canada Lands Company CLC Ltd.'s acquisition of CFB Rockliffe. The company acquired the base from the Federal Government for $27,200,000 or $87,742/acre. It is to be developed into a mixed-use community over the next several years.

The next largest transaction was an 80% share in a 214 acre parcel of land located on Limebank and Rideau Roads. The interest was acquired by Richcraft (Limebank) Ltd. from 2066924 Ontario Inc. for $6,708,000 or $39,093/acre. The purchaser intends to develop the property with residential/commercial uses in the long term.

300 West Hunt Club Road represents approximately 18 acres of commercial land which was purchased by Unitrin Developments Inc. from Coastal Canada Petroleum Inc. for $4,500,000 or $253,778/acre. It is to be developed together with the adjacent parcel to the east with almost 340,000 square feet of retail space.

Also worth mentioning is the sale of 591 Longfields Drive. The property sold to Mattino Developments Inc. from Ottawa Community Lands Development Corporation for $3,850,000 or $310,484/acre. It is to be developed with medium-density residential uses.

351 & 400 Unity Street was another large residential land transaction. The property was transferred from Canada Lands Company CLC Ltd. to Valecraft Homes Ltd. for $3,525,000 or $903,846/acre or $34,559 per proposed unit. It is to be developed with a combination of stacked townhouses and street oriented townhouses.

NEWS

The local unemployment rate as reported by Statistics Canada for the month of March decreased to 6.5% from 6.7% the previous month. The provincial rate for March slightly increased to 8.1% from 8.0%. The national overall unemployment rate saw a slight decrease to 7.7% from 7.8% a month prior.

According to CMHC's news release, the number of residential units under construction decreased 8.3% this year over last year to 4,741 units. That said, Housing Starts for the month of March increased a significant 58.9% year-over-year, from 367 units in 2010 to 583 units in 2011. Year-to-date housing starts have increased 5.2%, from 1,042 units in the first three months of 2010 to 1,096 units in the first three months of the current year.